Earlier this month we reported that Hiroaki Teshigawara (17-2-2, 10) [勅使河原 弘晶] was moving up in weight to face off with Filipino Glenn Suminguit (21-3, 11) for the OPBF Super Bantamweight title. As a result of this Teshigawara has vacated the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title.
Today we saw the news break that the new vacancy will be filled in January 2019, with Ben Mananquil (16-1-3, 4) battling against Tenta Kiyose (15-2-1, 7) [清瀬天太] for the belt on January 27th in Himeji, Hyogo.
Manaquil recently fought to a draw with Hinata Maruta and that draw seems to have helped him secure this bout. That bout was fought at Super Bantamweight but Mananquil has fought as low as Minimumweight, very early in his career, and his natural weight now is probably Bantamweight, which he has fought at regularly in recent years. That draw ended a 6 fight winning run for Mananquil, which included notable victories over Glenn Porras and Jess Rhey Waminal.
Coming into this bout Kiyose will be riding an 8 fight winning run, including wins over Joe Tejones, for the WBC Youth Super Bantamweight title, and former world champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai. He has rebuilt really well since a 2015 loss to Matcha Nakagawa and, like Mananquil, can seemingly fight at either 118lbs or 122lbs with no real issue.
Nothing else is known about this show, but this is a great bout, and we believe the first Japanese bout to be announced for 2019!
Earlier this week Japanese super prospect Hinata Maruta (7-1, 6) [丸田 陽七太] took to his blog to reveal that a decision has been made in regards to his next professional contest.
The talented youngster revealed that the bout will take place on August 23rd and will see the Morioka gym fighter make his Filipino debut as he fights in Manila against OPBF Interim Bantamweight Ben Mananquil (16-1-2, 4) in a 10 round bout.
The Japanese youngster revealed that the bout won't be a title bout, so neither the WBF International Bantamweight or OPBF "interim" Bantamweight title will be up for grabs, but Maruta has a great chance to make a statement on foreign soil and show, again, the promise that he has shown in glimpses through his career. It will be his third bout since his 2017 loss to Hidenori Otake in an OPBF Super Bantmwweight title, and will be a notable step up following.
Of course this isn't a 1-man fighter and Mananuil if a very capable fighter. The 26 year old suffered his first set back when fought to a technical draw with Kwanpichit OneSongchaigym in 2013 and would then suffer a draw and a loss to Jing Xiang in 2014, with all 3 of those set backs happening on the road. Since then however he has scored 6 wins in a row, including notable victories against Glenn Porras and Jess Rhey Waminal, and claimed his titles. Although not a puncher the Filipino is a very good fighter and will not be there to make up the numbers against Maruta.
At the moment no other details about the card have been made available, though we would expect at least one other fighter from the Morioka gym to be in action on the card.
(Image courtesy of Morioka Boxing Gym)
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